Every year, half a million American eyes experience injury or harm. Experts say 90 percent of eye injuries could be prevented by proper protective eye wear. Eye injury should always be treated as a medical emergency, and if you or a loved one ha an eye injury, seek care immediately. The eyes are fairly well protected by the structure of the face, but they are vulnerable to harm. Here are some things you can do to keep yourself safe:
- Make sure your fingernails aren’t sharp or ragged, to avoid accidentally scratching your eyes by rubbing them.
- Point bottles of sparkling wine and other things under pressure away from people when you open them.
- Use eye protection when drilling into brick, cement, or other hard materials from which sharp fragments can break off.
- Don’t look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, and don’t look directly at welding arcs; use protective eye wear with UV coating.
- Dilute chemicals by pouring them in water, not the other way around, to prevent splashing.
- Don’t share makeup or eye drops to avoid spreading infections
Proper treatment for eye injuries depends on the type of injury. If liquid chemicals get in the eye, a water rinse is the best course of action, ideally in a shower or a sink if one is nearby; the important thing is to use plenty of water. If you scratch your cornea, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it on your own. Seek medical attention and don’t wear contact lenses until your doctor says it’s ok. For any other kinds of injury, get medical attention right away.